Monday, July 11, 2016

Free short story: Son of Egypt - Part 18

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Parts: 010203040506070809101112131415161718 - 19

Copyright © 2016 by Cyci Cade. All rights reserved.

Turning my back to the mountain, I walk a few steps to my tent and stop. I breathe in. I breathe out. I can´t just turn my back to the man who I love and ignore the fact that… he is going to die. He is returning to that sarcophagus.
I feel like something is crushing my heart. It´s impossible to ignore the fact that I will not see him again. Never more! How will I live with this? In the same way I´ve lived with my father´s absence? I can´t lose another person. It´s too painful. It´s unfair. God can´t put somebody in my life and then…

Spinning on my heels, I rush to the mountain and take the way to Anhuren´s tomb. I half-jog and half-run through the narrow and dusty corridors. I hope it isn´t too late. I have many things to say to him before Anhuren abandons me.

I slow down my pace when I hear voices. Anhuren isn´t alone. Oh, he said that Anubis was here. Approaching the tomb, I move step-by-step in order not to be noticed. I crouch behind a chariot that is in the antechamber and observe Anhuren. From here, I see him and his sarcophagus. There is somebody else with him, I hear another voice.

Anhuren walks back and forth, he seems nervous. The arrow I gave him is in the waistband of his skirt. There is something wrong, I sense it in my bones. I sense Anhuren´s fear.

“It´s time, Anhuren,” a rough and frightening voice says. It makes the hair of my arms stand on end.

Anhuren hesitates. “I need more time.”

A shadow covers part of Anhuren´s body, soon after, a figure stops in front of him—a man with a jackal head. “No matter how much time you spend in this world, you won´t be able to fix your mistakes.”

Anhuren walks to the other side. “This is the problem. I don´t want to fix anything.”

“I don´t have power over it,” Anubis says. “You are son of Anhur. He has power over your life and he´s claiming it. Again.”

Anhuren lowers his head. Defeated, he says, “I understand.”

Tears flood my eyes. During the few days I´ve known Anhuren, I´ve never seen him so… defeated, distressed. His pain is palpable, like mine. I have to hold myself in order not to invade the tomb, point my finger to Anubis, and say some insults to the jackal god. Actually, another thing keeps me in my place, fear.

Anubis shakes his jackal head. “You lied to her. You couldn´t have done it. You knew what would happen.”

What? Did Anhuren lie to me? They are talking about me, aren´t they?

Anubis goes on, “You knew all the time where your weapon was, even so, you looked for her; you involved her in your mission. It´ll have consequences. You do know it!”

Consequences? I don´t like it. What will happen to Anhuren?

“I couldn´t help but look for her. I fell in love with her, it had never happened before. I died before having a chance to love somebody because I was too busy fighting battles that didn´t belong to me!” Anhuren´s voice is full of anger.

“Anhur saved your life, so you were supposed to serve him. You are his son, his embodiment. You knew it at that time and accepted it. You know it now.” A rough sound escapes Anubis. Is it a snarl?

He lifts his head, his nose wrinkles as if he´s sniffing the air. Has he sensed my scent?

“You are right. The best I can do is to accomplish my mission, to prevent the gods´ fury from falling on her.” He gets into the sarcophagus.

My heart accelerates in anticipation. This will be the last time I´ll see Anhuren alive. His bracelet shines—the one he gave me also shines. I remain in my place. I don´t dare move a muscle.

He lies down, his entire body shines. “I love her,” Anhuren says. He seems to know that I´m here to hear his last words, or is he saying it to Anhur? Is he asking Anhur´s permission to stay in this world with me? I don´t know.

Anubis steps toward the sarcophagus and lifts his arms. Canopic jars appear in his palms—four jars. The lids of the jars are different, one has a baboon head, the other has a jackal head, the third one has a falcon head, and the fourth one has a human head. He starts to chant. The canopic jars float in the air and stop in corners of the sarcophagus.

The jackal god extends his arms toward Anhuren. He continues to chant.

Anhuren screams and writhes inside the sarcophagus when light leaves his body and flies to the canopic jars. I cover my mouth with my hands in order not to scream either.

Then silence. The light enters the jars and lids close them. The canopic jars shake and move inside the sarcophagus. Anhuren is dead, I conclude. It was fast, not painless.

When I think it´s over, Anubis starts to chant again. Anhuren´s body floats in the air. Shreds of sheets appear. They dance in the air involving his body, wrapping his body, covering each part from his toes to his head, then his body returns to the sarcophagus.

Anubis walks to the corner of the tomb. He leans forward, grasps something, and returns to the sarcophagus with a golden mask in his hands, like the one I saw in the museum, like Tutankhamun´s mask.

He positions the mask on Anhuren´s face. The lid of the sarcophagus moves closing it. It´s done. I believe this is the end.

Anubis turns his jackal head toward me. He knows I´m here. He does! Yet, the god doesn´t say anything, doesn´t do anything. He only looks at me for a fleeting instant.

In the next moment he isn´t there anymore and Anhuren´s sarcophagus is sealed as if it hasn´t been discovered. Anhuren is gone. Forever.